In some cases, people may experience negative health effects from Gatorade consumption. For example, a person who drinks large quantities of Gatorade but is physically sedentary may struggle with weight gain from the beverage. Many of the potential negative effects of Gatorade can be prevented simply by using it in moderation and in conjunction with an active lifestyle.
One 8 fl. oz. serving of Gatorade contains 110 mg of sodium. Your body needs some sodium in order to help keep your muscles and nervous system working properly, as well as to maintain a healthy blood pressure. You can lose sodium through your sweat when you work out vigorously, which is why Gatorade contains it; however, this sodium content can be harmful if you do not work out enough to need that extra sodium. According to MayoClinic.com, most adults do not need more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.
Each serving of Gatorade also contains 14 g of total sugars. Gatorade contains this sugar, not only to flavor the drink, but also to provide your body with a quick burst of energy when you are exercising. Of course, this sugar can be particularly harmful if you regularly consume Gatorade without exercising. Most adult men should not consume more than about 150 calories per day from added sugar, while most adult women should not consume more than 100 calories per day from added sugar. Excess sugar consumption can lead to an increased risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease and cavities.
There are 50 calories in each 8 fl. oz. serving of Gatorade. For people who are physically active, that is not enough calories to contribute significantly to weight gain. For example, a vigorous 15 minutes walk will burn those 50 calories off. However, people who struggle with an excessively sedentary lifestyle would be better off drinking water in order to avoid adding further unnecessary calories to their diet and gaining excess weight.
Potassium is another mineral in Gatorade that functions as an electrolyte; each serving contains 30 mg. If you also take potassium supplements and eat a diet high in potassium-rich foods, such as meat, fish and soy products, you could be at risk for hyperkalemia, or excess potassium in the body. According to Medline Plus by the National Institutes of Health, people with kidney disease or failure are particularly at risk for hyperkalemia so they should use caution about the amount of potassium they consume.
- Gatorade.com: Original G
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Sodium In Diet - All Information; Patrika Tsai, MD; June 2008
- MayoClinic.com; Pass on the Salt: Most Americans Would Benefit from Lower Sodium Intake; September 2009
- MayoClinic.com; Added Sugar: Don't Get Sabotaged By Sweeteners; April 2011
- Bodybuilding.com: Calories Burned While Exercising
- MedlinePlus; Potassium in Diet; David Zieve, MD, MHA; May 2010